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Annan remains at disposal of two sides in Cyprus, says Beglitis
2003-03-24 14:05:36

Nicosia, Mar 24 (CNA) ? UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan has assured Greek Foreign Minister George Papandreou that he remains at the disposal of the two sides in Cyprus to offer his mission of good offices.

Greek Foreign Ministry Spokesman, Panagiotis Beglitis said that during their telephone conversation, Papandreou and Annan had mentioned that the crisis in Iraq has downgraded the procedure to solve the Cyprus problem.

However the two agreed that the dynamic that has been established recently must be sustained so that when circumstances allow a resumption of the negotiations can take place on the basis of the Annan plan.|

Annan thanked the Greek government for its constructive stance and contribution during the negotiations.

Papandreou made the telephone conversation, in his capacity as chairman of the EU Council of Ministers.

Cyprus has been divided since 1974 when Turkish troops invaded and occupied 37 percent of the island's territory.

Efforts to solve the Cyprus problem reached a deadlock earlier March when Turkish Cypriot leader Rauf Denktash refused to take to a referendum the UN Secretary-General's peace plan for a Cyprus settlement.

CNA/AAR/EC/ΚΝ/2003
ENDS, CYPRUS NEWS AGENCY

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